What we're sipping this week - aquavit-y grapefruit-y things

Voyageur Greyhound

Voyageur Greyhound

Hey friends!  Hope you all had a gorgeous and festive 4th of July weekend!  We were able to sneak away (still don't quite know how we managed) to some friends' cabin up on Devil's Track lake and it was fantastic.  Also, we made a happy drink discovery!  We brought with us a bottle of our new Voyageur Cognac-Cask aged Aquavit to share.  We like sipping it on the rocks, like a whiskey, but it is actually quite good at playing nice in cocktails as well.  Our friends had a pitcher of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and one thing led to another and soon we were sipping aquavit greyhounds.  And it was delicious.  And we were happy.  

I'm always slightly surprised by how well grapefruit goes with virtually any spirit.  Grapefruit is not a subtle flavor, yet it seems to go with everything (unless you don't like grapefruit, I suppose) and I find it particularly lovely with the caraway and fennel notes in aquavit.  Making an aquavit greyhound couldn't be easier, just mix your preferred amounts of aquavit and grapefruit juice in a glass, add ice, and you're good to go.

Voyageur Brown Derby

Voyageur Brown Derby

The combination of Voyageur with grapefruit juice made me think of the Brown Derby, a classic cocktail that's usually made with bourbon, grapefruit, and honey.  Swapping in some Voyageur Aquavit was the work of a minute.  Almost as easy as the greyhound, but extra classy because you get to drink it from a cocktail coupe.

Voyageur Brown Derby

  • 1 1/2 oz Voyageur Cognac-Cask Aquavit
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 tsp. honey syrup (to make honey syrup just stir equal parts honey and warm water together until the honey dissolves)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Shake all the ingredients with ice until well chilled (around 15 seconds) then strain into a cocktail glass and serve.

Fall Cocktail Ideas! an illustrated primer

Summer is over, and with it go the light, airy evenings of sitting on the porch swatting at mosquitos and sipping on gin and tonics.  But that absolutely does NOT mean that it is time to put away your bottle of gin in favor of only whiskey and red wine.  No no no no no.  Don’t be so silly! Yeees, we make gin so maybe we’re coming at this with a little self-interest.  A lot of self-interest.  BUT, we’re also here in your self-interest because your fall cocktails are going to be so much more, well, interesting if you keep the complex herbal, floral, piney notes of gin in your cold weather drink line up (also pine = very fall-y and wintery, don’t you think?).  Plus, contrary to popular belief that aquavit is only for the winter holidays, we think aquavit is great in a lot of drinks all year round.  AND for the winter holidays (who’s looking forward to the 12 days of aquavit?!  We are!).

We have (well, Emily has) been playing around with all the seasonal ingredients fall has to offer -the fruits and spices and squashes that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside like you just put a cozy sweater on your tummy  - plus richly flavored liqueurs and aperitifs, and have come up with a bunch of autumnal gin and aquavit cocktails for you to try.   And Emily has taken pictures of them and used her photo shop skillz to put words on them, like the hip food blogga lady she is. Behold:

cedar + cider w words

Cedar + Cider has become our new go-to fall drink.  Boreal Cedar Gin stirred (to taste) into sweet-tangy fresh pressed cider (hot or cold) basically tastes the way you’d feel jumping into a pile of crunchy golden leaves on a glorious fall day and then getting handed a mulled cider and a cider donut.  Dreamy.

oslo mule_1

When it comes to drinks with ginger beer, we’re not letting Moscow have all the fun.  So, meet the Oslo Mule (sometimes also known as the Swedish Mule, but we were bothered by the lack of parallel structure in the naming (ie Moscow is a city, Swedish is a nationality) because that’s the fantastic kind of people we are).  Or The Dark and Snowy and Stormy.  Or maybe we should just call it Winter is Coming.  Whatever you call it, the combination of Øvrevann Aquavit with ginger beer and lime is nice and spicy and so simple to put together.

balsamic fig g&t_1

If you’re not quite ready to let go of your g&t’s (we know we’re not!) and you also happen to love the tangy-sweet flavor of drinks like kombucha and shrubs (fruit infused drinking vinegar), try adding a spoonful of fig or cherry-infused balsamic vinegar (you can get infused balsamic vinegars from snazzy grocery stores or olive oil places) to a gin and tonic.  Bitter, sweet, tangy, poignant, complex.  This might be what nostalgia tastes like.

Or, you can try a whole line up of cocktails that highlight yummy fall flavors like cranberries, apples, maple, and pumpkin.  Ta-da:

Vikre Fall Cocktails

If you’re looking to try some drinks that are just a little more complex to make (muddling! vermouth! interesting bitters!), these ones are 150% worth the effort.

schmancy fall cocktails_1

And lastly, but not leastly, and no matter how you feel about the ridiculous profusion of pumpkin spice lattes on every corner at this time of year, you should obviously give the Pumpkin Spice Cocktail a try.  Obviously.  (This cocktail is surprisingly good.  Like, I made it with apprehension, and then we were surprised by how much we liked it and then we drank a bunch more of them.)

pumpkin spice cocktail

SKÅL friends!